5.2/10
591
32 user 6 critic

The Quatermass Experiment (2005)

Professor Bernard Quatermass' manned rocket ship returns to Earth but two of the astronauts are missing and the survivor seems ill and unable to communicate.

Director:

Sam Miller

Writers:

Richard Fell (adaptation), Nigel Kneale (creator) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Flemyng ... Professor Bernard Quatermass
Adrian Dunbar ... Detective Lomax
Mark Gatiss ... John Paterson
David Tennant ... Doctor Gordon Briscoe
Indira Varma ... Judith Carroon
Andrew Tiernan ... Victor Carroon (as Andy Tiernan)
Adrian Bower ... James Fullalove
Isla Blair ... Blaker
Paul Broughton Paul Broughton ... News Editor
Stephen Boxer ... Colonel
Matthew Flynn ... Charles Greene
Carsten Hayes ... Ludwig Reichenheim
Jane Hill Jane Hill ... Newsreader
Tracy O'Flaherty Tracy O'Flaherty ... Louisa Greene
Greg Sheffield Greg Sheffield ... Boy
Edit

Storyline

Professor Bernard Quatermass' manned rocket ship returns to Earth but two of the astronauts are missing and the survivor seems ill and unable to communicate.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the rehearsals for the film, David Tennant was offered the role of the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who (2005). This casting was not announced to the public until April 16, 2005, two weeks after the broadcast, but his fellow castmembers, and crew, became aware of the speculation surrounding Tennant. In the live broadcast, Jason Flemyng changed Quatermass' first line to Tennant's character Dr. Gordon Briscoe from "Good to have you back, Gordon" to "Good to have you back, Doctor" as a deliberate reference. See more »

Goofs

When they show Victor the film in the hospital, we are looking through the transparent screen towards Victor. But the countdown numbers at the start of the film appear the right way round to us so they'd be the wrong way round for those watching from the other side of the screen. See more »

Connections

Follows The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) See more »

User Reviews

The "live" aspect only gets in the way and brings nothing leaving a quite basic and dully delivered film
11 September 2008 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The space rocket project led by Professor Quatermass has now not heard from their crew for several days and the worst is feared. Suddenly though the rocket reappears and they manage to get it back to Earth by remote control, still not knowing the fate of the crew. When they breach the hull they find only one member of the crew in the craft – the others "gone". With the media and other investigators looking on, Quatermass and Dr Briscoe try to work out what happened up there when contact was lost, where the other two crew members are and what has happened to survivor Carroon, who is in a panicked and incoherent state.

Two interesting, maybe even good, ideas here. Firstly have a modern go at Quatermass; secondly do a live broadcast of a multi-location drama (they have done it with dramas in the US like ER to reasonable effect). Putting them together into one idea though only works if one doesn't limit or detract from the other, which you gotta feel happens here. Never having really the original Quatermass (I've only ever seen a couple of the movies – which I enjoyed), I'm not protective over the subject and a remake is not something that I specifically have an issue with – if it is good or bad I will watch it on its own merits, not in comparison to something else. The remake itself on paper offers tension, global threats, fear of the unknown and solid sci-fi and it is disappointing then that more is not made of it.

Sadly a lot of the biggest failings come down to the delivery of the first idea. The thing about it being live: why? In what way did it help the film other than just being a gimmick to make people watch (which, being BBC4 and now being just a repeat, I doubt does much). I did see a modern musical retelling of the crucifixion done in Manchester (Manchester Passion) and that was done live. While that film was not perfect, at least it was live in a crowd and in public – the fact it was live was a positive (or at least interesting) aspect to it. Here all it seemed to do was meant that it was done cheaply and not in the way that best serves the story. It is not that anyone laughs or falls over, but just that the scenes are done with limited cameras and camera positions, you don't get a lot of edits around a scene, the use of music is limited and of course special effects are not really involved.

Technically I'm sure it was impressive to pull it off but this doesn't translate into value for the viewer. Instead what I found was, while the basic story offered me potential, all I ended up thinking about was how much better it would have been if they had made a "proper" film (ie, take your time and redo bits if need be – play with the edit etc) rather than this experiment. It is not that I needed effects but all the way through the fact that they get one shot at everything does prevent it doing more things that would have been useful – such as effects, such as more cuts around scenes, such as multiple angles, such as more locations etc. What the live aspect doesn't explain though is why the film cannot decide when it is set. The characters mostly appear to be in the 1950's, they all talk in the tones and language of 1950's Britain, the space mission is certainly not occurring in the world of 2005 but yet we are in the Tate Modern and are watching the modern BBC news. It is not a massive problem but it just felt like someone wrote this, saw that the clash but just decided to ignore it.

The cast are mostly good although you do get the impression mostly that nobody is really pushing themselves or doing anything more exciting than making sure it is right first time. Flemyng is probably not right for the title role but he was OK – if the film had been better generally I think he would have been exposed but as it was he did alright. Tennant, Gatiss, Dunbarr and Varma all do solid work and seem to fit their characters but for me the best performance was from Tiernan. Essentially a babbling wreck throughout the film, if he hadn't convinced then the rest would have fallen down; but fortunately he pulls it off and mostly his weird state is quite effective.

I will not recommend this film to anyone because I don't think it was that good. I suppose if you specifically want to see a project (or gimmick) then the live broadcast bit may interest you but I cannot imagine many came for that. No, instead you will be, like I was, attracted by the name and the cast and will be hoping for a good bit of sci-fi. Sadly the live broadcast gimmick takes away a lot while bringing nothing to the table of value to the viewer. A shame because the material's potential is there to see but sadly this is just a basic film that doesn't work and, for another project, I would like to see them do it again with the same cast etc but with the resources of time and money added – just to see what they can do then.


20 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 32 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK] | BBC Four [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 April 2005 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Эксперимент Куотермасса See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Everything That's New on Netflix in December

No need to waste time endlessly browsing—here's the entire lineup of new movies and TV shows streaming on Netflix this month.

See the full list



Recently Viewed